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Corridor from Mariupol to Crimea… a stumbling block for Russia’s progress in Ukraine

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Pavlo Kirilenko, the governor of Ukraine’s Donetsk region, said in a television interview on Sunday that fighting between Ukrainian forces

And the Russian continues inside the port city of Mariupol in eastern Ukraine.
Many of Mariupol’s 400,000 residents have been trapped for more than two weeks as Russia seeks to seize the city to help secure a land corridor to Crimea, which Moscow annexed from Ukraine in 2014.

Ukrainian Mariupol is a city located in the southeastern part of Ukraine, bordering the Sea of ​​Azov. Mariupol is located in the Donetsk region.

The historical center of the city is located at the confluence of the Kalmyus and Kalchik rivers in the Sea of ​​Azov. It is the largest Ukrainian city and the second largest in Donetsk Oblast, with a population of about half a million people.

The city’s residents generally speak Russian, but in terms of ethnicity, they fall somewhere between Russian and Ukrainian.

Thousands of Mariupol residents deported

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said Russia’s blockade of the port city of Mariupol was “a terror that will remain in the memory for centuries to come”, while local authorities said thousands of the city’s residents were forced to cross the border.

“Several thousand residents of Mariupol have been deported to Russian territory over the last week,” the city council said in a statement on its Telegram channel late on Saturday.

Russian news agencies have reported that buses have transported several hundred of what Moscow calls refugees from Mariupol to Russia in recent days.

Many of Mariupol’s 400,000 residents have been trapped for more than two weeks as Russia seeks to seize the city, which would help it gain a land corridor to Crimea, which it annexed from Ukraine in 2014.

Russian President Vladimir Putin describes the attack on Ukraine, which began on February 24, as a “special operation” aimed at disarming the country and expelling people he describes as dangerous nationalists.

Western countries describe the attack as a war that Moscow decided to launch, and those countries imposed sanctions on Russia with the aim of crippling its economy.

Slovakia deploys Patriot system

While the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees announced that the war in Ukraine had caused the displacement of 10 million people in the former Soviet republic, UNHCR chief Filippo Grandi said on Twitter on Sunday, the Slovak Defense The minister, Jaroslav Nad, announced the start of the arrival of the Patriot air defense system that was sent to his country from other NATO countries, adding that its deployment will continue in the coming days.

The system will be operated by German and Dutch forces, and will initially be deployed at Sliac air base in central Slovakia to help bolster NATO’s eastern flank defense.

Russia’s military operation in Ukraine prompted the alliance to beef up its defenses.

The Patriot system will be part of a new NATO battle group in Slovakia, which borders Ukraine.

“I am pleased to confirm that the first units responsible for the deployment of the Patriot air defense system are gradually arriving in Slovakia,” said a club on Facebook.

Nad added that the Patriot system would complement the S-300 system, which dates back to the Soviet era and is operated by Slovakia, and not replace it.

“The system will be temporarily deployed at the Sliac air base, and other places for its deployment are being sought…so that (this) security umbrella covers as much of the territory of Slovakia as possible,” he said.

The Slovakian minister said last week that his country was ready to provide the S-300 system to Ukraine when it got a replacement.

He said again on Sunday that Slovakia is looking for a replacement for the S-300 because it is outdated, has weak capabilities and is dependent on Russia.

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